Summary: Its mystery unfolded, its ministry unending ... the Water & the Word [inspiration, preservation, application]. The Laver gushes forth w/ sanctifying truths. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint.
The Brazen Laver
The Brazen Altar burned brightly with flaming symbolism – it was the place where sin was judged. Today we look to the laver, and it too is brass, but that’s about the only similarity.
• The altar has fire in it, the laver has water.
• The altar speaks of reconciliation, the laver of sanctification.
• The altar deals with the penalty of sin, the laver with the practice of sin.
• The altar is about a convicted sinner, the laver is about a consecrated believer.
1. The Believer.
Only a believer can come to the laver. But why come to the laver?
a. We have a new position.
Because of the altar, we are now positionally different in the eyes of God.
v. 19 Only Aaron and his sons could come to the laver. You had to be a priest...part of the right family. And when you got saved you became a priest, w/ direct access to God! In the OT you had to have a priest, in the NT days now you ARE a priest!
The priesthood of the believer is one of the most cherished and precious doctrines of the NT. Because it carries certain privileges. “Membership has its privileges.”
• Direct access to God. No human mediator is needed.
• The right to sacrifice. In the OT if you offered strange fire it was punishable by death. If you weren’t a priest, it was strange fire.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
b. We have a new problem.
Shortly after you got saved you sinned again. What? How can this be? We’re still sinners...not perfect, just forgiven! God wants us to do better. He wants us to get daily victory. He knows we don’t have the ability to be sinless, but He does want us to sin LESS! He told the woman taken in the act of adultery, go and sin no more. He knew she would sin again, but she doesn’t have to commit that sin ever again. She should strive to get victory over that one, and then over another, and another on her list.
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Because we still will sin to some degree, we need to go to the laver. It’s the equivalent to washing your hands. You may have had an all over bath this morning, but you’ll still wash your hands at times during the day...won’t you?
Ill.—my wife likes to engage in ‘pillow talk’ sometimes. Especially when I’m very sleepy! But I can think of times where I roll over, face to face with her, and I initiate the talk. Maybe something like, “Did you see that walk off homer Pujols hit tonite?!” And then she responds, “You didn’t brush your teeth today, did you?!” “Yes, I did!” “When?” “This morning!”
We need some refreshing from time to time. At salvation we got that ‘once and for all’ all over bath, but as we tread thru this filthy world we need some regular foot washings!
And our sensitivity to sin grows as we grow and mature. I’m more aware of my sinfulness now than the day I was saved, but no doubt I was deeper in sin back then than I am now. But I wasn’t as tuned in as I am now to my sin. I’m more disturbed by my sin now than then.
Ill.—as a boy I got in the dirt and made mud pies and didn’t understand why I had to take a bath when I was just going to do the same thing again tomorrow! I went to jr. camp w/ 6 extra pair of clean underwear and got back w/ the same number. I wore the same pair all week, even after showers. I only got in the shower maybe twice all week when forced to, and I’d take that pair of undies off and toss them against the wall. More disturbing than the fact that they stuck was those times when they’d actually be a few inches higher on the wall when I got back!
But as I’ve grown and matured I’ve gotten more sensitive to dirt, and my wife now has me up to 3 showers every week! Likewise, I’m more sensitive to the spiritual dirt of this world, and more and more see the need to approach the laver for regular cleansing. We live in a moral cesspool of a world...the filth and muck is all around...we cannot help but get some of it on us.